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Proposition lodged to replace carpet loans with grants

Proposition lodged to replace carpet loans with grants

Tuesday 23 May 2023

Proposition lodged to replace carpet loans with grants

Tuesday 23 May 2023

A politician is calling for loans for carpets in social housing to be replaced with grants in a move he argues would "improve the lives of tenants".

Deputy Rob Ward’s proposition, which is due to be debated on 13 June, requests Social Security Minister Elaine Millar to implement special payment grants – instead of special payment loans – to Andium Homes tenants who require carpets in new rentals.

It also requests the termination of outstanding carpet loan payments.

It further asks the Treasury Minister to work with Andium Homes to make the provision of flooring standard in all properties and to reuse carpets, should they be in good repair and not in need of replacement.

It comes after the Deputy Millar previously revealed that an estimated total 114 Andium tenants are currently repaying loans for the provision of carpets, totalling £108,000.

Deputy Millar explained that Andium provides homes on an unfurnished basis to save tenants from paying a security deposit to replace or renew damaged goods.

But Deputy Ward argued that these loans were drawing people "further and further into debt" when they are already finding it "extremely hard to live with everyday costs already".

Rob Ward.jpg

Pictured: Deputy Rob Ward of Reform Jersey has previously said the loans put "unnecessary" strain on those already with financial struggles.

Local charities also reported that they often spoke to islanders who were living on concrete and carpet gripper.

Catriona Fern, Chief Executive of charity Love Thy Neighbour, said it had even covered the payments for a woman who was in end-of-life care – and after she died, the flooring was immediately "ripped out" for the next tenant.

According to the report accompanying Deputy Ward's carpet grant proposals, the "extra cost to tenants for carpets can often be combined with loans for other white goods and can mean a significant increase in the cost of the tenants' loan repayments. Removal of this bureaucratic process will improve lives of tenants."

The report also adds that Andium Homes has an estimated £50 million per year income and the carpet costs total 0.16% of this estimate.

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